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Recent Take Nothing Award – Jeffrey J. Whitelaw – Mar 2017

Applicant, a 58 year-old, claimed they suffered a right knee injury while working at a landfill as an employee of a placement agency. The claim was denied following an employer-level investigation.

Applicant received significant conservative medical treatment and underwent a right knee MRI revealing significant damage. Applicant’s treating physician issued multiple reports indicating that applicant’s condition remained temporarily totally disabling. He also referred applicant to a specialist and thought applicant would ultimately require surgery on their knee. The parties also went to a PQME who opined that applicant’s injury was consistent with the described mechanism of injury.

Prior to trial, the parties had agreed to settle this matter for a $20,000.00 Compromise and Release. Applicant, however, then fired his attorney and retained new counsel. Applicant’s new attorney informed defendants that the case value was closer to $100,000.00, given the nearly 15 months of TTD potentially owed as well as expected permanent disability and future medical care.

After further settlement negotiations stalled, the parties conducted the AOE/COE trial. Applicant testified on his behalf and claimed that he had stepped into a sinkhole while working at the landfill causing the right knee injury. Applicant further testified that, immediately after injuring himself, they informed a co-worker, the landfill supervisor and their supervisor. Defendants presented two witnesses: applicant’s co-worker and their supervisor. Both denied that applicant had reported the injury on that day. Applicant’s supervisor further testified applicant had later come to his office and was paid for the week.

After hearing testimony, the trial Judge, ruled in defendants’ favor and issued a Take Nothing. The Judge found a number of inconsistencies in applicant’s testimony and found that defendants’ witnesses testified credibly.

Order Obtained – Julie Lam – Jan 2017

Order Obtained for Imposing Sanctions on Lien Claimant, Pursuant to their Petition

Lien claimant filed a DOR for a lien conference. We appeared in Los Angeles, where were able to review their bill and discover that they had filed their lien more than 10 years after their last date of service. We made a good faith offer to resolve their lien, as they had passed the statute of limitations. This was rejected, and they indicated they were requesting discovery. We stated that if they continued the lien conference for additional information, we would be filing a petition for costs and sanctions as they were aware they were now past the statute to collect on their decade-old lien.

Nevertheless, we then appeared at the continued lien conference in Oxnard, petition for costs and sanctions in hand. At the Oxnard Board, lo and behold lien claimant does not appear. The Judge then indicated that lien claimant had in fact been dismissed and was served the dismissal, stating that lien claimant’s behavior were sanctionable and so we amended our Petition for Costs and Sanctions even further.

He eventually issued a Notice of Intent to Issue Sanctions against lien claimant and their representative, both of whom were served with the original and amended petitions, as well as the NOIs, with no objections.

Recent Take Nothing Award – Sumit Raghuvanshi – Dec 2016

The case involved two specific injuries one on 2/1/2012 and the other on 11/1/2012. Applicant’s medical reporting was all over the place. The QME on this matter stated that there was no injury and that the applicant was not reliable. Our defense attorney cross examined the applicant at trial who kept going back and forth and stated that he could not remember. DA also introduced sub-rosa at the time of trial. The Judge, found applicant not to be reliable and issued the Take Nothing on both claims!

MARCH 2017

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